Author Topic: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?  (Read 16983 times)

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Offline jakesmamma

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HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« on: October 03, 2008, 02:21:23 AM »
Hi there, I am a returned member to the forum and absolutely frazzled!...  I had a textbook/angel baby who is now nearly 5 but my second son who has just turned 10mths is the total opposite.  Can you give me some tips on how to get through the day with a "Spirited" child without needing a glass of wine?!!!  I'm worried I'm turning into an alcoholic!! ;)

Lewis at just 10mths is almost walking, he climbs absolutely everything, he throws tantrums if he can't get what he wants to the point he will throw a toy in frustration if he can't work it out or once he does and he's then bored with it.  He's got such a short attention span, he whinges and moans constantly if he's not distracted.

He is on a good routine, we go out every day (for both our sanities) we rotate toys, he sleeps well at nap & bed times, he's a great kid - just a handful during the waking hours that leaves me exhausted!

I'd love to hear from other mums of Spirited Children and how they cope with their day to day lives.  Some days I feel my older boy misses out on so much of me when the younger one is so demanding.  How do you balance your lives and still "enjoy" this special time without wishing it away.

Thanks
Liesa
« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 03:02:39 AM by jakesmamma »

Offline Deb_in_oz

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2008, 05:17:57 AM »
HI - i hear you - i had a textbook/angel first time around and it is such a contrast. liv was same as your lo and was walking by 11 mo and running within 2 weeks of starting to walk...

here is a link to the current support group for moms of spirited lo, when he gets older there is anothr thread for "children" these are in the EASY section
Support for Raising Spirited Babies part 2

I also suggest you RUN to the bookstore and grab a copy of raising your spirited child - it is THE best book for understanding our kids and finding ways to look at what they need and how best to work WITH their personality type so what you currently think of as tantrums will be seen more clearly as him trying to tell you what he needs (just like BWing, you have to learn what his "quirks" are and how to work with them...)
Lets' discuss "Raising your spirited Child" by  Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

there are A LOT of us who have been through the stress you feel so i hope you post on the baby thread and find loads of support there. there are older threads in the ARCHIVE area of EASY if you want to have a read (goes back to when my 3 1/2yo was a baby)HTH
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dd1 - Textbook/Angel, born July 2003
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Offline speechie

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2008, 21:05:55 PM »
Hi Liesa-
I've got a spirited 14 mo son- He's my only one, and I couldn't help resenting my friends/family just a little who had quieter/easier kids, or who didn't get how much work he is....
That being said, I'm convinced that spirited kids are a lot more FUN in the long run!
Nick was walking well at 10 mos and running well by 11 mos. Now that he's 14 mos, he's settled down a bit and things are easier. I feel for you, it is HARD to have a spirited/mobile little one who has definite opinions! I too felt like 99% of my day was racing after him to keep him from killing himself in new and creative ways....
This summer I went to the beach, there was a boy 4 mos older than Nick standing by the edge of the water calmly, just cautiously regarding the beach. Meanwhile, my LO was racing up and down, chasing the gulls, JUMPING off of the rocks into the water recklessly, and running headlong into the waves as my DH and I desperately tried to keep him safe. i have to admit, I was proud and slightly smug that my 12 mo DS was so fearless and clearly joyfully active.

I guess my point is, I've accepted who he is, what his strengths/weaknesses are, and put a positive spin on everything. I really try to celebrate how busy he is and remember that he will be independent before long.
Have hope- things definitely will get easier for you in the coming months once the novelty of moving and getting into things wears off.
I've needed to be consistent and firm, but he respects my boundaries because of this. Tantrum behavior is starting to taper off now that his language is coming along.
Good luck, and know that you are NEVER alone! There are a lot of us going through the same thing.

Cathie
                Nick spirited angel, born August 2, 2007

Offline jakesmamma

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2008, 22:59:36 PM »
Thanks Cathie & Deb,

I have ordered the book should be here next week looking forward to the read. (Where in Oz are you Deb? I'm in Brisbane)
I have too tried to change my outlook and feeling alot less stress - most of the time (I say this while listening to DS screaming while refusing to have his nap today!)   

Thanks again,
Liesa

Offline Deb_in_oz

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2008, 23:03:34 PM »
ooh another brisbanite!!! i am on the south side of brissie (been here since jan 07 from sydney) where are you??  we need to get a big meet up happening so i hope you stick around on BW - there are now a handful of BWers in brisbane who are regulars now or iin the past .... and we are hoping more will come forward LOL.  did you order the book at borders?? just curious as that was the only place i have ever seen it here but they keep maybe one copy at a time if that...I have since found 2 copies at 2nd hand shops though LOL
Debra - a New Yorker living in Australia married to a Brit

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dd2 - Spritied through & through, born Feb 2005

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Offline *Vicki*

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2008, 23:08:13 PM »
My spirited child is 5 now and she was my first. My second daughter is spirited/textbook, yet because of the expereince i have with my dd1 i ve enjoyed her alot more than i did dd1 IYKWIM. I think the best thing you can do is read as much as you can about this kind of personality because you will find there will always be a new challenge waiting for you just when you think you ve got him sussed!

Also, i know its hard but try not to sweat about the small stuff with him...some things are not worth the hassle! There are a few of us on here with this type of personality in our children and i wont lie, they are hard work, even more so the older they get but in time you will understand him more, i promise! They are incredibly bright and challenging to the bone but can be very endearing once you know which buttons to press and which ones to stay well clear of lol..

Hugs honey, and keep us posted on how you find the book xxxx  :-*
Mummy to

Megan Marjorie Alice 12/07/03
and
Cerys Elizabeth Rose 29/05/07

Offline awaya

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2008, 23:31:21 PM »
marking for later my spirited one is screaming at me

lotsa hugs I understand fully how you feel hun.....
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Offline EllenS

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2008, 01:08:08 AM »
My dd is fairly spirited, the 2 things I think helped a lot were teaching her BabySign, which reduced her frustration, and involving her as much as possible in what I was doing - letting her try "tasks" and toys that were at LEAST 2 months more advanced than what she was "supposed" to be doing/playing with.

And taking a lot of vitamins.
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Offline speechie

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2008, 22:27:17 PM »
EllenS-
Yes! That is so true- in my experience, my lo gets bored of simple things easily, and he enjoys the challenges of more intricate toys/ items. That is what holds his attention the most.
Didn't put that together until you stated it! thanks- eureka!
Cathie
                Nick spirited angel, born August 2, 2007

Offline MasynSpencerElliotte

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2008, 02:10:36 AM »
just marking this one, gotta run...I have 2 of them!!!!
Heidi

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Offline Mama2boys

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2008, 02:34:25 AM »
ditto what Speechie said.

Accept them for who they are but constantly try to challenge the,

Also try not to let their tantrum or whining/crying (not the real i need help crying) upset you. Its bl***y hard and I still don't think I am on top of it or will even be, but I do try.

Sometime his spiritedness really makes me smile as I sort of see my own pigheadedness in him. Also distraction works well for DS, singing and showing animals is an absolute winner. We have a bird feeder strategically placed so that he can see while eating and he know the birds get very sad when he does not eat properly!!

Lastly, I know people recommend only age appropriate toys, but slightly ahead toys has often helped save the day for us, the challenge works for DS.

also every kid has something that soothes them a toy or music or soemthing try and discover that and it will really help.
9 and 6, oh boy!

Offline MasynSpencerElliotte

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2008, 03:11:58 AM »
okay...the kids are in bed, not asleep, but whatever...my two girls (26 months and 3 months) are both spirited, the baby is also touchy too! (weird combination that one)

I find with the older one she loves games that challenge her - we buy new puzzles all the time when she gets bored of the old ones and I switch out her toys all the time to keep things fresh. that and lots of outdoor activity. I also send her to daycare as much as I can afford to(i'm on mat leave) which gives her lots of interaction with kids her age and she likes the social outing as much as I like the break.

the good thing is that she is willing to try anything, so we can do things like swimming lessons without worrying about her being scared or shy (as if!) She is my complete opposite and it helps me get out and do things with and for her that I otherwise might not do. I can't wait until she's 3 and can go in gymnastics, skating and playschool.

it takes alot of energy , but it's definately worth it.
Heidi

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Offline awaya

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2008, 17:30:01 PM »
I think Stacey said it I pick my battles better with DD.  No she cant climb the entertainment center but hey here's the couch.  Super baby proofed the home with attachment for furnature like book shelf and the TV.  I offer new challenges on a regular basis.  I don't sweat the small stuff that much anymore...So her clothes don't match ... ;D  at least I got her in some today..

Real I accept kiddo for how she is, this isn't something I can change or control,  I also marvel in her ways problem solving especially ( put up a road block see how long it takes her to figure it out) her independence and so many other things.

I wish she snuggled more but I cherish the moments she does.  I wish sleep came easier for us but I enjoy more the quiet when she doesFor everything I wish was easier for us there is an opposite for me to treasure... ;D
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Offline speechie

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2008, 21:22:03 PM »

I wish she snuggled more but I cherish the moments she does.  I wish sleep came easier for us but I enjoy more the quiet when she doesFor everything I wish was easier for us there is an opposite for me to treasure... ;D

Well said- I wish I had more snuggle time too! My LO is just too busy- I cherish the spontaneous hug on the run that he gives me and the rare kiss!
Cathie
                Nick spirited angel, born August 2, 2007

Offline jakesmamma

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2008, 23:40:44 PM »
Thanks everyone for your kind advice. 
While I remember, I bought the Spirited Baby booked from Dymocks online - I tend to buy all my books online these days, it's annoying getting to the bookshop and they don't have it.  I'm finding the book to be more appropriate for when Lewis is a little older, he's still only 11mths and there is not alot in there for babies but it's worth reading in preparation - oh what fun I see which lies ahead! ha ha

My current problem is that Lewis is forever moaning - it's a mmm ammm ammm - constant - very annoying and draining to hear all day long it is really driving the whole family insane.  The only thing I can do is put him in his cot to get a break so then I feel incredible guilty for not being able to make him happier.  Its like he is so unhappy and miserable.  He is on the verge of dropping his morning nap but he can't quite cope without it either so when I put him to bed he's not happy, keep him up he's not happy - I feel like nothing I do with him at the moment is working.  Thankfully (on bended knees) he is still sleeping 12hrs at night or else I wouldn't make it through the days I'm sure.

Only other thing I can think of is teething.  But it's been going on for so long I'm not sure it can be that.  Is this just another little pleasure of a sprited child?  It just doesn't feel normal to me, a baby shouldn't be this unhappy all the time surely?

Thanks so much for your support.
Liesa


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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2008, 00:38:39 AM »
life would be beautifull if mine ws happy all the time sadly she is cranky more often then not Its a phase I believe and will pass in time altough this doesnt make it any better when its going on ....

teething is a pain too actually DD started getting gum swelling and teeth bumps at 4 mons old and just got ther first teeth a couple of weeks ago so it could very well be teething./
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Offline skatty

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2008, 06:06:41 AM »
Hi Liesa, I am agreeing with pp as I also have a spirited DD so know how challenging it can be but also love the fact that she is so fearless and outgoing, curious and capable  :) My mum calls her Leorah Croft as she is so fearless and if she joins the circus as a trapeze artist or ends up as a Hollywood stunt woman I will not be surprised, she now at least jumps off the table and commando rolls lol!

Anyway I just wanted to say that I read RYSC while Leorah was a baby and it was very worthwhile because although a lot of the content concerns older children the advice on how to handle and speak to them as a parent is good to put into practice immediately. I have always put a positive twist onto L's behaviours when people comment she is "hard work" or "wild", I say she is full of energy, knows exactly what she wants, is expressive and keeps me on my toes which I love. Leorah turned 2 a month ago and from RYSC her second year was much easier for both of us, I enjoyed it so much more than the first year and I am pleased to say that in the last month or 2 she has been able to play with some crayons or duplo for more than 5 minutes, I never though I'd see the day lol!

I agree with all the pp that say pick your battles, I used to take L down from the dining table at least 100x a day and then one day I decided I'd just let her sit there if it made her happy and it did and she would spend all her indoor hours on the table and we'd have at least 100 less battles a day, one day we realised she hardly ever gets on the table anymore. Also we took her out of her highchair at 15 months as she was standing on the tray and bouncing like it was a diving board, to this day she still gets down from the table while we are still eating and sometimes while she is still eating because she just can't take sitting at the table for long yet, I am sure it will come but I don't want a battle everynight before the bedtime routine, KWIM?

Another great thing I got from the book was the info on tantrums, I now realise when L is on the floor red faced and silent screaming the tantrum is no longer about what it originally was, she is flooded with emotion and scared at her own reaction, she really appreciates me being there for her at these times.

Anyway as the others have said embrace your lovely, lively, intelligent LO, those little kisses I get when she zooms past me in a flurry of activity mean the world and when she screams "mumma" while squealing in delight upside down from the top of the climbing frame I just hold my breath, say a little prayer and rejoice with her  ;D

Definitely use the spirited boards, the ladies that support each other on these are the best  :-*
Katt





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Offline newmama12

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2008, 14:21:22 PM »
Skatty or anyone, can you post a link for the spirited boards? I can't find them and am in deseperate need of advice/support. :)
~Cyndie
Mom to my Spirited DD (5) and Textbook DS (23 months) :)

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Re: HELP - how to enjoy a "spirited" baby?
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2008, 14:27:53 PM »
Katt





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